Where Did My Gay Romantic Subplot Come From?

I recently revealed that my novel, Artifact of the Dawn, does include a gay romantic subplot. I thought I’d explain how that came to be. When I originally conceived of the idea for Artifact of the Dawn, it sprang from a question that came to me – what if elves were actually aliens from another planet? Maybe the crashed onto a primitive world and somehow lost their technology over the centuries. From there I developed the world I was going to set the novel in, and then I started developing the characters in my novel. I chose to make my two protagonists, Ardyn and Jevan, male because I am more comfortable writing male characters. That’s not to say I have no female characters in my novel – I made sure to include several, and I wrote them all as strong, independent characters. As I wrote the story, Ardyn and Jevan just Read More

My #PitMad Experience

Yesterday, on March 8, I participated in a Twitter event known as #PitMad, which is short for “Pitch Madness.” The event allows authors with completed manuscripts to pitch them on Twitter for any agency or publisher that may be interested in publishing a new work in a specific genre. I followed the guidelines for #PitMad as closely as possible. An author should only tweet three pitches for a single manuscript, not include any imagery, and space the tweets about four-hours apart during the twelve-hour event. I agonized over the pitches I wrote, and I even rewrote the third one a few times before I finally tweeted it. Each tweeted pitch did receive a lot of impressions, and some interaction from other authors, but nothing from agencies or publishers. This was only my first time participating, so while I kept my hopes up, I wasn’t surprised when I didn’t get tapped to Read More

An Analogy for My Writing Process

I recently came up with a great analogy for my personal writing process. When I write my first draft, it’s almost like I’m doing a line drawing. I’m building the foundation for my story. I write all the pertinent plot details, dialogue interactions, perhaps a few details here and there. When I’m done, I have a barebones story. Then, when I go back and edit, I start coloring in the line drawing, adding details to help bring the entire story to life. My stories always grow when I go back and edit. I come from a technical writing background, where I learned to avoid any superfluous description (just the facts, ma’am!), which is why my first drafts are as barebones as they are. It also explains why pacing in my first drafts has always been a problem. I speed through many scenes, just giving the barest of detail before moving on. Read More

Working with a Professional Editor

This article is an update to a previous one I wrote last year, where I debated hiring an editor. As my more recent posts alluded, I did finally decide to work with one. Every write I spoke to advised that I should. Some even stated that it was impossible for a writer to self-edit. I still disagree with that sentiment and I believe that it’s important for a writer to be able to edit their own work, at least to a degree. I doubt an editor wants to slog through an unedited manuscript. That being said, I was pleasantly surprised when my editor didn’t find any significant issues for me to fix. He felt my world and character-building was good, my pacing well-measured, and there were no inconsistencies or plot-holes. His largest edit was more of a proofreader’s change. I forgot to add spaces around my ellipses whenever I used Read More

Moving Forward

I stepped away from my writing for a short while after I received the news of my editor’s passing. It happened right before the two-year anniversary of my late husband’s passing so I needed to take some time to myself. I’m now ready to move forward. My query letter has been revised extensively, and I plan to begin sending queries to literary agencies. I’m hopeful that with all the changes I’ve made to both my query letter and my manuscript, that I’ll catch some agency’s eye this time around. In the meanwhile, I still have the second novel to finish writing and editing. That being said, I will try to blog more regularly, but I make no guarantees. When I get into writing mode, I often lose track of time.

Goodbye, My Friend

I received sad news today. Alan Seeger, who I viewed as a friend, but was also the editor of my novel, passed away yesterday. The writing community as a whole has lost a member of their community. He was not only and editor, but also an author in his own right. He mostly edited horror anthologies, but he had written and published a number of his own works as well. I had only known Alan for a few short months, but in that time we formed a friendship and working relationship. I was thrilled when he told me that he enjoyed my novel. When I went through all of his edits, the fact that he found very few flaws really encouraged me as well. I can honestly say his input and advice will encourage me to strive even harder to become a published author. Alan will be greatly missed by Read More

Artifact of the Dawn – Novel Progress

I will admit, I am not the best at keeping my blogs regularly updated. I’d much rather write my novels than write blog posts. To that end, I thought I could combine the two today and just give an update on the progress of my first novel, Artifact of the Dawn. That is the first novel in my Artifacts of Truth series. I handed my latest revisions to my beta readers just before November last year, so they could make sure I didn’t introduce any new inconsistencies into the story, along with making sure all of my changes made sense (I made extensive changes to the manuscript at that point). When I completed NaNoWriMo, and most of the second novel in the series (Artifact of the Forgotten – title may change), I took time to review all the feedback from my beta readers. That led me to make some additional Read More

Happy 2018!

Happy New Year! I hope you’ve had a happy and safe New Year’s celebration. This is the time of year where I like to reflect on the past year and also look towards the coming year.  2017 has been very much a transitional year for me in many ways. When it came to my writing, I made progress on many fronts. Artifact of the Dawn has been revised and improved to the point where I’m even more proud of the work. The sequel, Artifact of the Forgotten, has gotten off to a good start as well. I also managed to write several new fan fiction stories which helped me to perfect my craft. Looking forward to 2018, I have several goals I wish to accomplish. The main one is to attempt to secure the representation of a literary agent and/or land a publishing contract for my Artifacts of Truth series. I have Read More

NaNoWriMo Progress – Day 28

I had meant to post more routine updates on my progress throughout NaNoWriMo, but I have been so focused on the novel I have barely come up for air (so to speak) all month. Now that November is coming to a close I am finally poking my head up again. As you can see from the above image, I’ve had a successful NaNoWriMo, although my novel, Artifact of the Forgotten, is not complete yet. While the core idea I had for this novel is still very much intact, how I’m expressing it in the novel is very different from how I first envisioned it. This novel is decidedly darker than my first novel, which surprised me at first. However, one thing I’ve learned over the past couple of years of writing is that my stories will take me on strange and unexpected journeys. I have stopped fighting it because the Read More

NaNoWriMo Progress – Day 5

I don’t want to flood people with daily progress reports. Instead, I decided to update my NaNoWriMo progress only periodically this month. As you can see from the graphic above, I’ve made good progress so far. After five days of writing, I’ve exceeded 12,000 words, and I’m averaging around 2,400 words/day. The minimum daily word count is 1,667 words/day to achieve 50,000 words within 30 days. If I continue the way I’ve been going, I’ll exceed 72,000 words, which is a healthy length for a science fiction novel. This second novel in my Artifacts of the Truth series is turning out to be darker than the first, but I think that may make it an even stronger story than the first. That’s not to say that I think the first story is at all weak. I am very proud of how Artifact of the Dawn has turned out, and I hope a Read More